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Antisemitic incidents have spiked in New York since Hamas attack on Israel, NYPD says

(New York Jewish Week) – The day Hamas attacked Israel, two young men shoved a Jewish boy to the ground in Brooklyn. In Rockland County, an assailant fired a BB gun at two women on their way to synagogue. The following day, three Jewish men were shot with a BB gun in Brooklyn.

Those attacks came amid what, according to the NYPD and a regional Jewish security agency, is a spike in antisemitic incidents since Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel and Israel’s ensuing war against the terror group in Gaza. It parallels what the Anti-Defamation League says is a nationwide spike in antisemitism in the same period

On Monday, NYPD data provided to the New York Jewish Week indicated there were 33 antisemitic hate crimes in the first three weeks of October, already surpassing the monthly average of 18 so far this year. Jewish security groups say many antisemitic incidents go unreported.

“The world is different from what it was on Oct. 6,” Mitch Silber, director of the Community Security Initiative, which coordinates security for Jewish institutions in the New York City area, told the New York Jewish Week. “Everyone should be concerned.”

Silber’s group tallied 23 antisemitic incidents in the greater New York area from Oct. 7 to 19. The total in that 12-day period is around double the rate compared to the same time last year, when the Community Security Initiative tallied 20 incidents throughout the entire month of October.

The incidents range from subway graffiti saying “kill the Jews” in Manhattan to violence and harassment. The group has tallied at least nine instances of reported assault. The Community Security Initiative receives reports from individuals, checks into news reports of attacks with law enforcement, and learns about some incidents from the ADL.

In some of the other attacks, an Israeli student was hit with a stick at Columbia University, an assailant shoved an identifiably Jewish woman in Manhattan while shouting, “This pig has got to go,” and a man punched a woman in a Manhattan subway station, saying it was because she was Jewish. A banner at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue was vandalized with the words, “F—in k—s” and the 2nd Avenue Deli was defaced with a swastika. The targets include all manner of Jews and Israelis, Silber said.

Other incidents related directly to the war in Israel and Gaza, such as vandals scrawling “Globalize the intifada” on a pole in Brooklyn, or Jewish groups receiving threats related to Israel’s conduct. The attacks reported by the Community Security Initiative come alongside a spike in antisemitic rhetoric online and particularly on platforms favored by extremists, according to the ADL

There have been 196 total antisemitic incidents reported to police since the start of the 2023, the NYPD said. Jews have been, by far, the most frequent target of hate crimes in the city this year. 

This year’s total represents a slight decrease from the same period in 2022, following a surge in antisemitism in 2021 related to the Israel-Hamas conflict that year. But there have been fewer serious physical attacks during this conflict than there were during the 2021 fighting, Silber said. He credited the police with stringent enforcement during and after protests, which were a locus of violence in 2021. 

Some pro-Palestinian activists who attacked Jews that year have also been sentenced to prison for hate crimes, which may have dissuaded other assailants. Court proceedings surrounding one of the most prominent 2021 attacks, the assault of Joey Borgen, are wrapping up this month, and may be fresh in the minds of would-be attackers, Silber said. 

The Community Security Initiative has received hundreds of requests from schools, synagogues and other Jewish institutions for additional security, stretching the resources of security groups and police.

Richard Priem, the deputy national director of the Community Security Service, which trains volunteers to patrol synagogues, said his group has noticed an uptick in suspicious activity around synagogues, although the motive of that activity is not always clear. In the week after Oct. 7, the group received 40 reports of suspicious or antisemitic activity in the U.S., mostly in the New York region, more than double the normal rate.

He urged vigilance but said Jews should continue community activities.

“It could be that they’re planning something, it could be a coincidence,” he said. “It could be antisemitic.”

The post Antisemitic incidents have spiked in New York since Hamas attack on Israel, NYPD says appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Kyiv Rejects Putin’s ‘Absurd Ultimatum’ to End War

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Photo: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

i24 NewsRussia’s strongman President Vladimir Putin said he would end the war in Ukraine only if Kyiv agreed to drop its NATO ambitions and hand over the entirety of four provinces claimed by Moscow. Kyiv swiftly rejected the demands as tantamount to surrender.

Putin demands that Ukraine transfers to Russia four regions, including a 300,000 city of Kherson and 700,000 Zaporizhzhya as a “precondition” to “peace talks”. This man is delusional, and those in the West who speak of “negotiations” or “cease fire” are enemies of the free world.

— Sergej Sumlenny, LL.M (@sumlenny) June 14, 2024

“The conditions are very simple,” Putin said, listing them as the full withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the entire territory of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

Putin’s maximalist conditions apparently reflect Moscow’s growing confidence that its forces have the upper hand in the war.

He restated his demand for Ukraine’s demilitarization and said an end to Western sanctions must also be part of a peace deal. He also repeated his call for Ukraine’s “denazification.”

“He is offering for Ukraine to admit defeat. He is offering for Ukraine to legally give up its territories to Russia. He is offering for Ukraine to sign away its geopolitical sovereignty,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, rejecting the demands as “absurd.”

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Deadly Explosion Kills 8 IDF Soldiers in Rafah

Illustrative. Some rises after an Israeli strike as Israeli forces launch a ground and air operation in the eastern part of Rafah, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 7, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Hatem Khaled

i24 NewsEarly this morning, tragedy struck in the southern Gaza city of Rafah as eight Israeli soldiers lost their lives in a devastating explosion, marking the deadliest incident for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the region since January.

The IDF has confirmed the casualties, with one soldier identified as Captain Wassem Mahmoud, 23, a deputy company commander from Beit Jann in the Combat Engineering Corps’ 601st Battalion.

The names of the other seven soldiers will be released after their families have been notified.

According to initial reports from the IDF, the soldiers were traveling in a Namer armored combat engineering vehicle (CEV) as part of a convoy around 5 a.m., following a successful overnight operation targeting Hamas militants in the Tel Sultan neighborhood of Rafah. During the operation, troops under the 401st Armored Brigade reportedly neutralized approximately 50 gunmen.

The convoy was en route to buildings captured by the army for the soldiers to rest, when the Namer CEV, which was the fifth or sixth vehicle in the convoy, was struck by a powerful explosion. The nature of the explosion remains under investigation, with possibilities ranging from a pre-planted bomb to an improvised device placed on the vehicle by Hamas operatives.

Initial findings suggest that explosives stored on the exterior of the Namer CEV may have contributed to the severity of the blast. Normally, such explosives are designed to minimize harm to troops inside if detonated.

The IDF probe indicates there was no gunfire preceding the explosion, and the vehicle was not stationary at the time of the incident. The circumstances surrounding the tragedy have prompted intensified scrutiny into the safety protocols and operational procedures during military movements in hostile territories.

The deaths of these eight soldiers bring the total number of IDF casualties in recent ground operations against Hamas to 307. This figure includes a police officer killed during a recent hostage rescue operation and a civilian Defense Ministry contractor also slain in the conflict.

This is a developing story 

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U.S. Officials Fear Escalating Conflict Between Israel and Hezbollah

Israeli firefighters work following rocket attacks from Lebanon, amid ongoing cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, near the border on its Israeli side, June 13, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Avi Ohayon

i24 NewsRecent actions by both Israel and Hezbollah have sparked growing concerns among U.S. officials, who fear that the situation could escalate into a full-scale war, according to reports from CBS News.

The tension has intensified following a series of Israeli airstrikes on Lebanese territory, which some American authorities believe are laying the groundwork for a larger military operation.

Sources within the US government have expressed worries that such a move could trigger a conflict that might strain Israel’s alliance with Washington.

Hezbollah, in response to recent events including the assassination of senior commander Taleb Sami Abdullah, has escalated its own actions. The group has begun launching daily rocket attacks targeting northern Israeli communities since October 8, citing solidarity with Hamas amidst the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

US officials cited by CBS News have highlighted concerns over the potential unintended consequences of Hezbollah’s increased attacks. They fear that these actions could provoke Israel into launching a significant military assault, further exacerbating the volatile situation in the region.

The developments come amid ongoing international efforts to de-escalate tensions and prevent a wider conflict. Diplomatic channels remain active, with calls for restraint and dialogue from various quarters.

The United States, a key ally of Israel, has historically played a crucial role in mediating and influencing regional conflicts. Officials are closely monitoring the situation, emphasizing the importance of avoiding actions that could escalate tensions further.

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